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NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
Faculty Candidate Seminar
The Discovery of Fermi Bubbles and Future Gamma-ray Telescopes
Date: Tuesday, February 24th
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Meng Su, MIT, Joint MIT Pappalardo and NASA Einstein Fellow
Abstract: The Fermi Bubbles are a pair of giant lobes at the heart of the Milky Way, extending roughly 50 degrees north and south of the Galactic Center, and emitting photons with energies up to 100 GeV. This previously unknown structure could be evidence for past activity of the central supermassive black hole. I will first summarize what we have learned about the bubbles through multi-wavelength observations and numerical simulations. We discovered the bubbles while searching for potential signal of dark matter particle annihilation toward the Galactic Center, using data from the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. More than six years successful operation of Fermi has proved the great potential of studying astrophysics, cosmology, and fundamental physics through gamma-ray sky. I will highlight the search of dark matter particles using gamma-ray and cosmic-ray observations, which motivated three future space telescopes: DAMPE, HERD, and PANGU. Together with the next generation ground-based Cherenkov telescopes e.g. CTA and LHAASO, we will be able to measure gamma-ray photons with energies from MeV to above PeV with much improved sensitivity. Finally, I will comment on a future plan to search for primordial gravitational waves produced from inflation in the very beginning of the Universe.
Host: Dasu
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